Have you ever seen a moody pregnant woman, easy to get angry, quickly tired or even more cheerful and happy than before? This condition is expected because of changes in pregnancy hormones. This can make pregnant women’s emotions challenging to predict and quickly change.
During the pregnancy period, you will usually experience hormonal changes in your body. The hormones during pregnancy can bring many changes in the body, from organ function to the pregnant woman’s emotions. So, the role of the family or husband is very important to understand hormonal changes in pregnant women.
For those who don’t know, a pregnant woman usually has several types of hormones during the pregnancy, such as HCG, HPL, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin hormones. You need to know that not all types of hormones appear when you have experienced pregnancy. But, some hormones occur from pre-pregnancy.
Hormones during pregnancy have an important role and function in supporting pregnant women’s health and their fetus. However, these hormonal changes sometimes cause complaints during pregnancy, such as fatigue, canker sores, and constipation.
For more precise details about pregnancy hormones and their function, let’s see the review below.
Pregnancy Hormones: Types and Function
There are hormonal changes in the mother’s body during the pregnancy period. Here are some types of hormones that appear during pregnancy and their various functions.
1.Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (HCG)
HCG is the hormone produced inside the placenta during pregnancy. This hormone is the reference for the appearance of positive pregnancy signs on test packs sold in the market. The function of this hormone is to take care of pregnancy and fetal development in the womb.
Usually, low HCG levels are reasonable and standard during young pregnancy. But, this can also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or even death of the baby. At the same time, very high levels of HCG could be a sign of twin pregnancy, down syndrome or abnormal pregnancy. For that reason, it is important to check HCG levels regularly, especially at the beginning period of pregnancy.
2. Human Placental Lactogen (hPL)
The hormone hPL begins to produce the placenta when the pregnancy enters the age of 2 weeks. This pregnancy hormone is often called human chorionic somatomammotropin that has a role in preparing the nutrients needed by the baby. This hormone also has functions to stimulate the mammary glands in the breast until the breastfeeding period.
Estrogen is a hormone that is already present in a woman’s body even before the pregnancy period. However, during pregnancy, this estrogen level will increase significantly. Increased levels of this hormone will usually trigger the emergence of nausea, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. While in the second trimester, this hormone contributes to the enlargement of the milk ducts in the breast.
During the pregnancy period, the estrogen hormone has many functions, such as:
- Forms new blood vessels to deliver nutrients to the fetus
- It helps provide nutrients needed by the fetus to develop
- Support the development of the fetus
- Increase blood flow in the body, such as blood flow to the skin to give a glowing impression to some pregnant women
Another type of hormone that is also present in the pregnant body is the progesterone hormone. Progesterone is a type of hormone that already exists before pregnancy. However, the levels of this hormone will increase when you are pregnant. Rising progesterone hormone levels during the pregnancy period can trigger the appearance of fine hair on the breasts or abdomen, sudden dizziness, heartburn, nausea, and constipation.
Although it has an unpleasant effect during pregnancy, the progesterone hormone has a very important function. Below are some of the functions of these hormones that you need to know:
- Keeps uterine muscles relaxed during pregnancy
- Maintain the thickness of the uterine wall while the fetus is developing
- Maintain the mother’s immune system during pregnancy
- Prepares the breasts to produce milk
Oxytocin is a hormone that plays an essential role in the birth process. This hormone functions to flex the cervix at the end of pregnancy to make the baby easier to come out. Not only that, but the oxytocin hormone also helps to stimulate the nipples to produce milk and stimulates the Montgomery glands around the nipples and areola. This will help the baby who has been born to breastfeed immediately.
Another type of pregnancy hormone in pregnant women’s bodies is the prolactin hormone. This hormone is present before pregnancy but will increase by 10 to 20 times. This hormone helps prepare breast tissue for breastfeeding by helping to produce abundant milk production.
Hormones that appear during the pregnancy period has a significant role and function for the health of the mother and fetus. But, these hormones sometimes also have an uncomfortable effect on pregnant women. Of all the types of hormones mentioned above, HCG and HPL are only owned by pregnant women. While other types such as estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin are already present in a woman’s body, the amount drastically increases during pregnancy.
Disorders That Appear During Pregnancy Due to Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes during the pregnancy period often lead to various health problems for pregnant women. These health problems can be in the form of physical or psychological health problems. Here are some health problems that pregnant women can experience due to hormonal changes.
- Striped and blackened skin
- Pelvic pain
- Stomach disease appears
- Sex drive decreases
Hormonal changes during the pregnancy period are only temporary. Hormonal changes such as the progesterone hormone in pregnant women occur as a reaction to the body due to the presence of the fetus in the womb. Therefore, the family, especially the husband, should have an important role in facing pregnant women experiencing these hormonal changes.
Pregnancy is a gift that every woman will feel. In the process, women will experience changes in pregnancy hormones to maintain the health of the mother and fetus in the womb. So even though these hormonal changes are sometimes uncomfortable, the mother needs to be sincere about it for the fetus’s health in the womb.